Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, April 14, 2014

CLE on What It Means To Be A Fiduciary

CLEThe American Bar Association is sponsoring a CLE entitled, What It Means To Be A Fiduciary, on April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET.  Provided below is a description of the event:

Trustees are the stewards of the grantor’s legacy. They are required by law to fulfill the wishes of the grantor who set up the trust, to invest responsibly, and to always put the needs of the trust and its beneficiaries above their own.

However, serving as a trustee is increasingly risky. Beneficiaries have discovered that the courts are a place where they can seek redress for actual or perceived wrongs. Even conservative and cautious trustees can stumble over the execution of their fiduciary duties when dealing with real people and their complicated circumstances.

Knowing the trust instrument and your core duties and responsibilities as a trustee are key.

Following consistent processes for administration and decision-making often will lead to a better substantive result and not just liability mitigation (Need to go beyond policies and procedures manual). Good communication with beneficiaries is absolutely critical. Involve all the right people and experts in decision-making. Learn when you have entered risky territory. Practice good risk management to avoid or at least mitigate future challenges.

Good results are the product of a consistent and thoughtful process.

 

April 14, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CLE on Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries

CLEThe American Legal Institute, is sponsoring a CLE entitled, Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries, on July 24-25, 2014 in Renaissance Chicago Downtown.  Provided below is a description of the event:

This advanced course goes beyond basics and delves into topics that specifically affect beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Plus, registrants get solutions to their most pressing concerns through small roundtable discussions and networking opportunities.


Experienced planning chairs Steve Fast and Bob Whitman, and the rest of the nationally known faculty panel, provide two full days of knowledge, insight, and even a bit of humor as they update you on all the current law developments affecting beneficiaries and fiduciaries.

The program schedule and faculty for this course are still being finalized. Please check back to this page for updates.

April 10, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Zealand High Court Reveals A Breach of Fiduciary Duty

GavelRecently, a New Zealand High Court found that the former city councilor of Auckland City did not perform his fiduciary duty. Former Auckland City Councilor, Greg Moyle, failed to keep the beneficiaries of a $1.4 million dollar estate updated and informed about his investments. The investments were made with farmer Murray Dean's money. Mr. Dean died ten years ago, but in his will named Mr. Moyle as his executor.

Under the will, Mr. Dean left his estate to his wife and children from his first marriage. The will instructed that the estate should generate income for his wife's lifetime and after her death be distributed evenly among his children. After Mr. Moyle failed to provide information about how the money was being invested, Mr. Dean's children filed suit.

Eventually, Mr. Moyle provided the information, but the court forced him to pay court costs. The fees he paid himself were more than $100,000 in seven years; he claims the fees were standard in managing the sizable estate. Additionally, the court revealed unauthorized payments. General manager for NZ Financial Planning, Craig Dealey, stated the company only learned of the court case a short time after Mr. Moyle resigned and did not agree with the way Mr. Moyle handled the situation.

See David Fisher, Conduct Over Will Criticised by Judge, NZ Herald, April 5, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 7, 2014 in Current Events, New Cases, Professional Responsibility, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on What It Means To Be A Fiduciary

CLEThe American Bar Association is sponsoring a CLE entitled, What It Means To Be A Fiduciary, on April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET.  Provided below is a description of the event:

Trustees are the stewards of the grantor’s legacy. They are required by law to fulfill the wishes of the grantor who set up the trust, to invest responsibly, and to always put the needs of the trust and its beneficiaries above their own.

However, serving as a trustee is increasingly risky. Beneficiaries have discovered that the courts are a place where they can seek redress for actual or perceived wrongs. Even conservative and cautious trustees can stumble over the execution of their fiduciary duties when dealing with real people and their complicated circumstances.

Knowing the trust instrument and your core duties and responsibilities as a trustee are key.

Following consistent processes for administration and decision-making often will lead to a better substantive result and not just liability mitigation (Need to go beyond policies and procedures manual). Good communication with beneficiaries is absolutely critical. Involve all the right people and experts in decision-making. Learn when you have entered risky territory. Practice good risk management to avoid or at least mitigate future challenges.

Good results are the product of a consistent and thoughtful process.

 

April 7, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 28, 2014

CLE on What It Means To Be A Fiduciary

CLEThe American Bar Association is sponsoring a CLE entitled, What It Means To Be A Fiduciary, on April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET.  Provided below is a description of the event:

Trustees are the stewards of the grantor’s legacy. They are required by law to fulfill the wishes of the grantor who set up the trust, to invest responsibly, and to always put the needs of the trust and its beneficiaries above their own.

However, serving as a trustee is increasingly risky. Beneficiaries have discovered that the courts are a place where they can seek redress for actual or perceived wrongs. Even conservative and cautious trustees can stumble over the execution of their fiduciary duties when dealing with real people and their complicated circumstances.

Knowing the trust instrument and your core duties and responsibilities as a trustee are key.

Following consistent processes for administration and decision-making often will lead to a better substantive result and not just liability mitigation (Need to go beyond policies and procedures manual). Good communication with beneficiaries is absolutely critical. Involve all the right people and experts in decision-making. Learn when you have entered risky territory. Practice good risk management to avoid or at least mitigate future challenges.

Good results are the product of a consistent and thoughtful process.

 

March 28, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries

CLEThe American Legal Institute, is sponsoring a CLE entitled, Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries, on July 24-25, 2014 in Renaissance Chicago Downtown.  Provided below is a description of the event:

This advanced course goes beyond basics and delves into topics that specifically affect beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Plus, registrants get solutions to their most pressing concerns through small roundtable discussions and networking opportunities.


Experienced planning chairs Steve Fast and Bob Whitman, and the rest of the nationally known faculty panel, provide two full days of knowledge, insight, and even a bit of humor as they update you on all the current law developments affecting beneficiaries and fiduciaries.

The program schedule and faculty for this course are still being finalized. Please check back to this page for updates.

Early Bird Discount: Register for the on-location course or full webcast by March 31, 2014 and save $200 by using coupon code CW001EB at checkout

 

March 28, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book on Elder Law Ethics

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Roberta K. Flowers & Rebecca C. Morgan recently published an article entitled, Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law, sponsored by the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.  Provided below is a synopsis of the book:

In an elder law practice, ethical issues can occur at any point in the representation, and in some cases these unexpected situations can take the attorney by surprise. Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law provides an informed overview of the most common issues that can occur, explains the issues that can arise and how to be alert for them, and suggest ways to work through these issues effectively and ethically.

Authors Roberta K. Flowers and Rebecca C. Morgan offer a range of hypothetical situations, along with a series opening questions for each, followed by a discussion suggestions for analyzing and responding to the issue. These discussions offer a reliable framework for analyzing the ethical questions within the scope of the Model Rules and ancillary resources.

The authors give readers the knowledge to determine which questions to ask in the representaiton. They refer to and discuss the 9 "C_s" of elder law ethics: Competency, Client, Confidentiality, Conflicts of interest, Capacity, Control, Complex fiduciary representation, and Consulting.

Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law provides invaluable information as appendices, including the National Academy of Elder Law (NAELA) Aspirational Standards, relevant ABA ethics opinions, and a range of supplemental resources, checklists, and letters.

March 26, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Elder Law, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Warren E. Burger Prize Writing Competition

Inns

Consider entering the American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize writing competition. Interested authors can be law students, professors, judges, and lawyers. They do not need to be members of the American Inns of Court. The author is asked to submit an original, unpublished essay of 10,000 to 20,000 words on a topic that addresses issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics, and professionalism.

This competition is designed to encourage outstanding scholarship that “promotes the ideals of excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism within the legal profession,” the core mission of the American Inns of Court. The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and the essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review, and the author will be recognized at the Annual Celebration of Excellence event at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

The submission deadline for the 2014 Warren E. Burger Prize is July 1, 2014.  Rules for the writing competition are available on the American Inns of Court website.

March 18, 2014 in Professional Responsibility, Writing Competitions for Students | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 14, 2014

CLE on Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries

CLEThe American Legal Institute, is sponsoring a CLE entitled, Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries, on July 24-25, 2014 in Renaissance Chicago Downtown.  Provided below is a description of the event:

This advanced course goes beyond basics and delves into topics that specifically affect beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Plus, registrants get solutions to their most pressing concerns through small roundtable discussions and networking opportunities.


Experienced planning chairs Steve Fast and Bob Whitman, and the rest of the nationally known faculty panel, provide two full days of knowledge, insight, and even a bit of humor as they update you on all the current law developments affecting beneficiaries and fiduciaries.

The program schedule and faculty for this course are still being finalized. Please check back to this page for updates.

Early Bird Discount: Register for the on-location course or full webcast by March 31, 2014 and save $200 by using coupon code CW001EB at checkout

 

March 14, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

American Idol Finalist in Probate Court

American idolLaKisha Jones, American Idol finalist, testified in probate court this past Tuesday, February 25. She testified during a hearing in which she was accused of not paying her father's nursing home bills. Jones was made her father’s legal guardian after he suffered from a stroke at the age of 67. He was receiving a social security payment of $1,047 monthly, $987 of those funds were supposed to be allocated to pay the nursing home. The probate judge determined that she was thousands behind in the payments and found Jones in contempt of court. 

See, Gary Ridley, Watch 'American Idol' Finalist LaKisha Jones Testify In Genesee Probate Court, MLive, Feb. 25, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

February 27, 2014 in Guardianship, New Cases, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)